Here is the case: This past Sabbath, at an ashkanazi synagogue, a sephardi comes to pray. This is the synagogue that he normally attends (there are about 20 within 1 sq mile).

He prays with the minyan even though its not his custom, he davens the ashkanazi shomeneh esrai, with the ashkanazi order of the tfilot...

When it comes time to get an alyah, or to say kaddish, he uses the sephardi versions (of both).

This is confusing to me. Normally I would just ask him, but this time, I can't.

Why would he do this? Why would he pick and choose which tfilot he prays with which minhag?

2 Answers 2


Tefilo Kehilchoso 4 (14) says in the name of the Igros Moshe OC 3 (89) that one may not publicly conduct oneself in a way different to the custom of congregation in which he is praying.

See also the accepted (green ticked) answer to this question and apply the same principle here: "Generally a good idea would be not to do anything that actively shows contempt for the congregation's practice..."

Your sephardi friend must have another source for his conduct.

  • 1
    (or he doesn't really know what he should or should not be doing)
    – wizlog
    Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 18:25
  • @wizlog, Not necessarily. I have heard that R' Ovadia Yosef has differed with R' Moshe with respect to Sefardim praying in Ashkenazic shuls (and I presume, vice versa). I don't know if this would help, though, as the Sefardic person should anyways follow R' Moshe's opinion, being that he is in an Ashkenazic shul that presumably follows his rulings. I'm not sure if what I've heard (about R' Ovadia) is true, though.
    – jake
    Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 20:13

Agreeing that publicly one should follow his congregations custom, this only applies to "public" prayers such as Barchu and Kedusha. With private prayers one may pray with his own custom. For example, if you daven nusach ashkenaz but are in a nusach sefarad shul, they say the beginning of pesukei d'zimra before mizmor shir chanukas habayis but you could still say mizmor shir chanukas habayis first as is your custom.

In your example, probably he chose to follow the congregations custom during the normal order of prayer, but when he is saying something by himself he chose to do what he is used to.

  • I know there is a difference between sefardic nusach and nusach sefarad--I was just using sefarad as an example.
    – andrewmh20
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 1:56

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